State of the NFC East: Washington Redskins

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

For the Washington Redskins the off-season is really all about how quickly Robert Griffin III recovers from reconstructive knee surgery.

As part of the off-season we have looked at the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys. Let's conclude our look at the New York Giants NFC East rivals with the 2012 division champion Washington Redskins.

Their season began when the Redskins traded up in the draft to pick Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III second overall. Rookies RGIII and running back Alfred Morris led the team to a 10-6 record and the NFC East crown, but fell to the Seattle Seahawks in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. There was some controversy during the game when it became clear RGIII was too injured to keep playing, but coach Mike Shanahan left him in anyway. RGIII left the game early when his knee finally buckled and needed surgery, which would take 6-8 months to recover from.

[State of the Cowboys | State of the Eagles]

2012 Finish: 10-6 (NFC East Champions)
Changes already made: Special teams coach Danny Smith hired by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Decisions to come: 19 free agents and some cuts and contract restructures to come

In terms of positions they need, the Redskins could use a better secondary and receiving game.

I don't want to bore you with RGIII talk, but that's the only hot topic in Washington right now.

RGIII is recovering from knee surgery, which is the biggest story of the Redskins' offseason right now. In that wild-card game with the Seattle Seahawks RGIII seemed to be bothered by his knee early in the game; the same knee he had injured earlier in the season. Coach Shanahan asked RGIII if he was OK to stay in the game and he of course he told coach he was OK to play. Eventually deeper into the game RGIII's knee buckled and he couldn't play anymore. We found out later that he had tore his ACL and LCL and needed major knee surgery. It was the same ACL he had torn when he was Baylor a few years ago.

The questions started flying: What was Shanahan thinking keeping RGIII in the game? Was he right to leave him in there? Either way, what's done is done. The bigger question now becomes whether or not RGIII can even play next season.

In my opinion, RGIII could miss some of the beginning of the season before attempting to come back. However, some Redskins officials are already trying to say they expect RGIII to be back for Week 1. Sources say that RGIII is rehabbing well so far, but I think it's still too early to really predict if he can return Week 1 or not. Not everyone is Adrian Peterson. If RGIII can't make the start of the season, Kirk Cousins will take the role temporarily. He did a solid job for the Redskins during the regular season and I expect him to do the same in 2013.

The way their 2013 will play will depend on RGIII's progress. The Redskins move at a faster and smoother rate when RGIII is in the game plan. They are still a good team without him, but for how many weeks?

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